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Inside info on freebies from the manufacturer side

submitted on September 27, 2011 by equipurple in "Sales / Promotions"
We have all seen plenty of freebie giveaways gone awry. Samples of items that are intended for corporate prospects are posted on freebies and deal sites; companies are inundated with requests and quickly pull down sites, cancel freebie orders, and revise their policies to see if they can actually target prospects without opening themselves up to a flood of freebie-hunters.
I hand lunch yesterday with a friend who runs the finance department of a small, family-owned floor coverings company that offers some innovative and niche products. (As you will understand in a moment, I refrain from noting the company name here). They have on online free sample offer, for now; it is about to be disabled and some other program put in place.
All the samples are from scrap materials left over from manufacturing. The sample program costs little from a material standpoint. The efforts of making the samples from scraps are pretty much offset by the savings in waste disposal of the scrap material.
Order intake, shipping, tracking, and sales followup, for a 6"x6" piece of carpet sample... more than $25 per unit. No wonder they hate it when their free sample offer gets posted.
Certainly not all B2B freebies are in as bad a shape as this, and some are designed and managed in different ways than my friend's company's program is. But it was certainly eye-opening to someone who has on occasion taken advantage of freebie offers knowing that I was not a target prospect.

  • 126448
    Posted by LauraJ on September 27, 2011
    [reply] 1 0
    Design and production of samples is also expensive for consumer product samples. I'm a proponent of only requesting samples you're truly interested in because they're limited and it costs a lot for the company. That said, I wish more companies would offer samples, I really like to try things before I buy the big package.

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